Lewandowsky's UWA cohorts answer on data access is essentially 'no, and hell no'

UWA Vice-Chancellor Refuses Lewandowsky Data

Steve McIntyre writes:

Over the past 15 months, I’ve made repeated requests to the University of Western Australia for a complete copy of Lewandowsky’s Hoax data in order to analyse it for fraudulent and/or scammed responses. Up to now, none of my previous requests were even acknowledged.

I was recently prompted to re-iterate my longstanding request by the retraction of Lewandowsky’s Fury. This time, my request was flatly and permanently denied by the Vice Chancellor of the University himself, Paul Johnson, who grounded his refusal not on principles set out in university or national policy, but because the University administration’s feelings were hurt by my recent blogpost describing the “investigation” by the University administration into the amendment of Lewandowsky’s ethics application .


In September 2012, I carried out several preliminary analyses of Lewandowsky’s data using a grey version then in circulation. Like Tom Curtis of SKS, I concluded that some of the responses were fraudulent. In response, Lewandowsky argued that I had not “proved” that the responses were fraudulent. The grey version of the data lacked important metadata for the individual responses, all of which was necessary for a forensic examination. In addition, Lewandowsky had removed several questions (including CYIraq) from the grey version and had removed numerous responses for various reasons, including duplicate IP addresses, incomplete data or implausible consensus or age responses.

In order to carry out a thorough analysis, I particularly wanted to see metadata that included the questionnaire used by each respondent and the date of each response.

In February 2013, I sent a polite request to Lewandowsky, who did not acknowledge my request.

Subsequent to this, Roman Mureika obtained from coauthor Oberauer a version of the dataset that included the CYIraq and life satisfaction questions, but still without metadata on questionnaires and dates as well as the several hundred responses that Lewandowsky had excluded.

After waiting a couple of months, I sent a polite request to Caixing Li of the UWA Human Resources Ethics Office. Again no response.

Reminded of these past refusals by the recent retraction of Fury and Barry Woods’ efforts to obtain Lewandowsky data, I once again requested data, this time writing Murray Mayberry, Head of the School of Psychology, copying the Human Resources Ethics Office, the Vice Chancellor and the Australian Research Council, as follows:

Read it all here: http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/28/uwa-vice-chancellor-refuses-lewandowsky-data/

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Lil Fella from OZ
March 28, 2014 5:45 pm

Let’s close ranks!

March 28, 2014 6:13 pm

Without Lewandowsky’s data there is no means to duplicate his results.
If Lewandowsky’s results can not be duplicated it is not science, therefore it is just an opinion based on no verifiable facts or data.
Using the same method, I say Lewandowsky is unqualified, and spews non-credible research. He is just a bias alarmist.

March 28, 2014 6:16 pm

That is how guilty arrogant babies respond after being called out.

March 28, 2014 6:16 pm

Researchers from other Universities with similar acronyms need to distinguish themselves and make clear which University they are from lest they be mistaken as being from UWA.

March 28, 2014 6:17 pm

That does it, I’m voting for Lewandowsky as ‘Climate Duplicitist of the Year’ award. Perhaps there should be a team category too.

March 28, 2014 6:25 pm

Never expect a university with ivy on the walls to ever change or admit its errors. No wonder UWA is now the last ranked university in WA

March 28, 2014 6:26 pm

Skeptics (my definition – those of us who want more proof of an assertion) should not be afraid to use the legal system to clarify (or even refute) assertions that will change our life style.
Unfortunately, those issues subject to opinion (e.g. Mann vs Steyn) are not slam dunks.
On the other hand this argument appears to be a pretty straight forward contest of law versus “political correctness”.
I support the suggestion that those with standing should challenge the Vice Chancellor’s denial.

March 28, 2014 6:29 pm

So much for the University of Western Australia to ever be considered as a place of open research and ethical investigation. So much lost now in the reputation of a University that used to have pride in what was once leadership at the cutting edge of science. Rather sad the Vice Chancellor chooses to hide shoddy “research” and protect an unethical charade. CYA, sadly and that in itself exposes the current poor state of affairs in some Universities both in Australia and elsewhere in the world.
Closed shop “non” investigations e.g. white washing, serves no other purpose than futile attempts to avoid the true issues.

March 28, 2014 6:33 pm

Kinda funny. Imagine Albert Einstein’s shock if he couldn’t get the raw data from someone else’s paper when requested. Used to be scientists were anxious to share that data.
Only in a climate science field is not sharing considered science.

March 28, 2014 6:35 pm

Didn’t Tim Flannery also work there once? Why don’t you check that out.

Steve Oregon
March 28, 2014 6:39 pm

“grounded his refusal not on principles set out in university or national policy, but because the University administration’s feelings were hurt”
When one’s mangled science what’s a little more mangling of principals and national policy?
There is no limit with these kinds of people who have embraced fiction as a tool of advancement.

March 28, 2014 7:10 pm

Why would he send you the information when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?
Why would the university send you the information when you have found something wrong with what they have done previously.?
The university demands the right to withhold public information if it hurts their feelings, or if they have a grudge. Welcome to the bizarre world.

March 28, 2014 7:19 pm

The most damning thing in the UWA correspondence dossier is when Kate Kirk, the Executive Officer to the UWA Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Western Australia, writes to approve Lew’s modification of his study (the modification being a requests that Lew be able to conceal his involvement, among other things). She writes:

fine for you to leave your name off as long as the standard complaints paragraph and contact details are there. I look forward to receiving the hate mail. I’ll let you know if I get any

They clearly anticipated that Lew’s study would cause injury to some of the subjects and Ms. Kirk was commenting about taking pleasure in receiving the ethics complaints.
Now imagine, if you will, that during a products liability law suit, an email comes to light in which the defendant writes: “Fine for you to change the material on our tires. I’m looking forward to hearing all the whining from people when their tires blow out at 60 mph!”
The simple fact is that the UWA conducted a study in which unwilling participants were named and accused of having a clinical psychological disorder. It appears that they knew that the publication of the study would injure some of its subjects. But they went forward anyway because (it seems) they really, really dislike skeptics.
I’m surprised that a class action lawyer hasn’t picked this up yet.

March 28, 2014 7:50 pm

[All-Staff] Comment on Times Higher Education Supplement: World University Rankings
Vice-Chancellery vice-chancellery at admin.uwa.edu.au
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All Staff
Comment on Times Higher Education Supplement: World University Rankings
The Times Higher Education Supplement’s World University Rankings confirm what The University of Western Australia has been aware of for some time: outside our nation and our region, our academic and research performance far outweighs our international reputation.
This becomes clear when comparing the categories of ‘peer review’ (or reputation) and citations per faculty (a measure of research ranking). Our research score was equal to or higher than 12 of the top 50 universities in the world, but our score in terms of reputation was significantly lower.
In addition, the ranking methodology is skewed towards universities with large numbers of international students on the assumption that a university’s ability to attract international students is an indicator of quality. We would dispute this since in many situations, the number of full fee-paying international students is not a measure of quality, but the result of strategic decision-making. For example, for some universities fee-paying international students are a critical revenue base. At UWA, international students are encouraged to study on our campus as part of our commitment to international education, but they must meet the same stringent academic qualifications as local students. Since UWA has arguably the highest overall entry requirements of any Australia university, international students continue
to make up only about 17 per cent of our student population
The THES world rankings do not stand up against the ranking of institutions when measured within their own national systems. In Australia for example, the foremost non-government ranking system, The Good Universities Guide, ranks The University of Western Australia first along with The University of Sydney and The University of Queensland on a more comprehensive set of criteria.
Overall, the Times Higher Education Supplement’s list appears to be a naive attempt to rank the world universities on an ill-matched set of criteria. Furthermore the criteria remain undefined, the sources of data are not identified, with the result that the rankings are not transparent.
The University of Western Australia welcomes attempts to rank universities on international criteria. However, the criteria must be very carefully chosen.
With a growing international reputation against most specific academic and research measures, The University will not be distracted from its emphasis on high quality education at international standards of excellence.
I have included for information, a selection of the THES rankings (with and without international students), the Jiao Tong University rankings and the Good University Guide rankings at http://www.uwa.edu.au/file/56997
Alan Robson

I’m loving how they they keep getting their knickers in a knot.

March 28, 2014 7:54 pm

What is a UWA degree worth these days?

March 28, 2014 8:06 pm

“I regard your continued correspondence to be vexatious and there will be no further response to your requests for data.”
Yours faithfully,
Professor Paul Johnson,
Law. (of legal actions) instituted without sufficient grounds and serving only to cause annoyance to the defendant.
You learn new, and fun words, everyday.

March 28, 2014 8:15 pm

Camburn says:
March 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm
Kinda funny. Imagine Albert Einstein’s shock if he couldn’t get the raw data from someone else’s paper when requested. Used to be scientists were anxious to share that data.
Only in a climate science field is not sharing considered science.
Private research is one thing, publicly funded research is another.

Tim Walker
March 28, 2014 8:26 pm

The end of Paul Johnson’s letter is very humurous to me.
Yours faithfully,
Professor Paul Johnson,
How can someone be so stiffly formal, that they write words so devoid of meaning?
Laughing at the absurdity of it all,
Not a Professor Tim
A man

March 28, 2014 8:54 pm

Neither a scholar nor gentleman is Professor Paul Johnson, Vice-Chancellor of UWA.
It makes one wonder if he had to pay for his position or is related to someone. A person of truly academic standing would not be so vexatious or willfully incompetent.
The writing style of the response to Steve is suspiciously similar to Lewdandumski’s style. Perhaps he ghostwrote another response for the UWA vice guy?
I’m ashamed to see that ‘sky ending on Lewny’s name; people of Polish and Ukrainian ancestry everywhere are similarly embarrassed.

March 28, 2014 9:07 pm

Note the UWA VC:
He demands transparency:

Overall, the Times Higher Education Supplement’s list appears to be a naive attempt to rank the world universities on an ill-matched set of criteria. Furthermore the criteria remain undefined, the sources of data are not identified, with the result that the rankings are not transparent.

He doesn’t like their fuzzy ranking
They’re hiding data! Need a spanking!
The parallels are so precise
But he won’t take his own advice
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

March 28, 2014 9:08 pm

The argumentation provided by Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson reveals no knowledge of proper procedure. What does this man have knowledge of?

charles nelson
March 28, 2014 10:19 pm

University of WA…Sheboygen Conservatory of Music…

Jimmy Haigh.
March 28, 2014 11:16 pm

It’s taken a while but I think Steve is finally running out of patience with these scumbags.

March 29, 2014 12:22 am

I cannot see how UWA would be ranked with Sydney University…. except of course when it comes to deceptive climate mumbo jumbo called science… and then Sydney University, Melbourne University and Monash University continue to rank above UWA…. no matter what the staff at UWA think, it is not ranked with the best in Australia. It might outrank the University of Adelaide but only in the class of being a sheltered workshop for failed politicians.

Tom Cubbage
March 29, 2014 12:27 am

There is a rule of law related to a refusal to produce the evidence requested a rebuttable presumption that it is unfavorable to the case advances by the non-disclosing party. The only way to rebut the presumption “against interest” is to produce and put the material on the record. In this case the presumption is that the conclusions in the study are not supported by the hidden material, and therefore the conclusions are false.

John Peter
March 29, 2014 12:46 am

What about approaching The Royal Society.
“The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, has announced the appointment of 27 new Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holders.”
One of them is
“Professor Stephan Lewandowsky – University of Bristol
The (mis)information revolution: Information seeking and knowledge transmission”
Perhaps their President, Sir Paul Nurse could be persuaded to pressurise Lewandowsky into releasing his metadata? Or what about an approach to the University of Bristol? How can they employ Lewandowsky as professor if he will not release his data to allow duplication? Worth a try.

March 29, 2014 12:59 am

A bit hypocritical when there are 11,300 results for “transparency” on the UWA website!

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
March 29, 2014 1:13 am

Vice-Chancellor’s response is as effective as taking out a $1m ad that says “We have crap standards.” Brilliant advertising of your wares, University of Western Australia.
How embarrassment for my country

March 29, 2014 1:22 am

Here is an example of why replication is important. It concerns economics and is quite shocking.

BBC – 19 April 2013
The student who caught out the profs
This week, economists have been astonished to find that a famous academic paper often used to make the case for austerity cuts contains major errors. Another surprise is that the mistakes, by two eminent Harvard professors, were spotted by a student doing his homework…..
His professors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst had set his graduate class an assignment – pick an economics paper and see if you can replicate the results. It’s a good exercise for aspiring researchers……
EU commissioner Olli Rehn and influential US Republican politician Paul Ryan have both quoted a 90% debt-to-GDP limit to support their austerity strategies.
But while US politicians were arguing over whether to inject more stimulus into the economy, the euro was creaking under the strain of forced austerity, and a new coalition government in the UK was promising to raise taxes and cut spending to get the economy under control – Thomas Herndon’s homework assignment wasn’t going well.
No matter how he tried, he just couldn’t replicate Reinhart and Rogoff’s results…….

We are being asked to make major changes to our energy infrastructure. Take my word for it is simply not good enough. Hiding data is the first act of a ‘science’ charlatan who is afraid of his/her paper being found out.

March 29, 2014 1:24 am

given ADL was recently given ample opportunity to apologise to CAGW sceptics for the defamatory article by one of their own calling sceptics “holocaust deniers”, & failed to do so, i coudn’t resist a smile when i read this:
26 March: Washington Examiner: Paul Bedard: ‘Shocked’ Anti-Defamation League slaps FBI ‘diss on hate crimes
The Anti-Defamation League, however, was “shocked” by the FBI’s move, made without any notice. It’s work with the FBI has not been questioned.
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told Secrets, “We are shocked, surprised and disappointed that this would be done without any consultation with groups such as ours who have been working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on issues of hate crime. We look forward to having further conversations with them on this issue.”
The FBI had no comment and offered no explanation for its decision to end their website’s relationship with the two groups, leaving just four federal links as hate crime “resources.”

Lew Skannen
March 29, 2014 4:14 am

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia says:
“How embarrassment for my country”
LOL That takes me back a few years!!

Bill Illis
March 29, 2014 4:26 am

They are not going to provide the data until they are left with no choice.
“Under their watch”, they must surely know by now that Lewdowsky violated about half a dozen academic principles, not the least of which is getting a completely unethical and untrue paper published in a journal. This happened under their watch.
If the issue just quietly fades away now, they will remember the problems as individuals but nothing else will happen. If it continues to escalate, there will be further ramifications but, of course, in the research world, not much more will happen either. But they would prefer to avoid those minor bumps if possible.

Steve from Rockwood
March 29, 2014 5:10 am

Universities, the last bastions of free and independent thinkers seeking the truth through knowledge. All clustered inside one cozy castle. Well raise the draw bridge, fill the moat and close all the windows and doors. The McIntyre is coming to eat your children and steal your data.

March 29, 2014 5:32 am

Robyn Owens is a lightweight, I knew her 15 years ago. The VC is just circling the wagons. They do not have any scrutiny of universities in WA, cowboy country. They would not get away with this in NSW.

March 29, 2014 5:44 am

I suppose there is no FOI law?

Gunga Din
March 29, 2014 7:09 am

I think their response was designed to show the public just how thorough that “investigation” really was.

March 29, 2014 8:09 am

Australia does have a Freedom of Information law.
Not being a lawyer I don’t know whether or not “hurt feelings” would be a legitimate reason for refusing a FOI request.

Richards in Vancouver
March 29, 2014 8:21 am

Steve, you are a vexatious person. You get a two-minute “instigator” penalty, and another two minutes for “breaking the stick”.
Sit in the box. Feel shame.
(This comment will make sense to hockey fans.)

March 29, 2014 9:07 am

No, hurt feelings would not be, but vexatiousness can be. And vexatious is a legal term of art that doesn’t mean annoying. If they get inundated with FOI requests from the general public that could give them an excuse not to respond, so don’t.

Don Keiller
March 29, 2014 9:09 am

Well done Professor Johnson, you have just won this year’s Richard Nixon Watergate Prize!

March 29, 2014 9:23 am

While critisizing UWA, we should remember the environment where the university is operating. Corruption is rampant, education standards are low, GDP extremely low and a lot of people suffer even from starvation. It’s no big surprise that the University of West Africa has a problem raisong to the expectations of the western world!
Edit: What? Is UWA in Australia?

March 29, 2014 9:48 am

John Peter says: March 29, 2014 at 12:46 am
What about approaching The Royal Society.
Perhaps their President, Sir Paul Nurse could be persuaded to pressurise Lewandowsky into releasing his metadata?
Unlikely. Paul Nurse is an Uber-Warmist.

José Tomás
March 29, 2014 10:33 am

ATheoK says:
March 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm
I’m ashamed to see that ‘sky ending on Lewny’s name; people of Polish and Ukrainian ancestry everywhere are similarly embarrassed.
They should be, it’s not the first case worldwide. We have our own Lew here in Brazil: Ricardo Lewandowsky, a Supreme Court Justice as pathetic as his namesake.

March 29, 2014 11:17 am

Professor Paul Johnson,
Vice-Chancellor wrote to McIntyre,
“[. . .]
I am aware that you have made inflammatory statements on your weblog “Climate Audit” under the heading “Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”” including attacks on the character and professionalism of University staff. It is apparent that your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced that there is no useful purpose to be served in corresponding with you further. I regard your continued correspondence to be vexatious and there will be no further response to your requests for data.”

– – – – – – – –
Professor Paul Johnson (Vice-Chancellor UWA) has unwisely thrown down an academic gauntlet challenging a duel against all supporters of openness and transparency in publicly funded climate science.
The VC will climb down and then arrange to provide the requested Lewandowsky et al info because he otherwise will be increasingly visible publicly on an international stage as hostile to the most profound integrity principle of modern science.
The vexatious Lewandowsky et al ‘Moon Hoax’ paper then is likely to be retracted like his vexatious ‘Recursive Fury’ paper was retraced.

J Martin
March 29, 2014 2:21 pm

Clipe found that the UWA complained that “the rankings are not transparent.”
Seems appropriate since the data used by their staff is also not transparent. I reckon they got their just deserts in the ranking tables.

James (Aus.)
March 29, 2014 5:41 pm

@ John Peter says:
March 29, 2014 at 12:46 am
John Peter’s idea to approach the University of Bristol with the refusal of the Univ. of WA to supply data from Lewendowsky is a good one.
The UofB needs to know much, much more about the fellow they now host.
Since the UoWA is a taxpayer funded university, I would think refusal of FOI, especially if it comes from an Australian intermediary, is on very shaky ground. It’s as if the UoWA is afraid of what there is to uncover.

March 29, 2014 6:18 pm

March 29, 2014 at 8:21 am | Richards in Vancouver says:

Steve, you are a vexatious person. You get a two-minute “instigator” penalty, and another two minutes for “breaking the stick”.
Sit in the box. Feel shame.
(This comment will make sense to hockey fans.)

Go the Canuckleheads… Aussie fan !

March 29, 2014 6:39 pm

I think it was Richard Tol who said…University of West Anglia.

March 29, 2014 7:07 pm

Hmm WA in Australia is one of the richest states because of its mineral resources.

March 30, 2014 10:37 am

Steve McIntyre has his latest thread up regarding this shameful action by UWA.
For some odd reason (meaning that I do not know why) I am blocked from posting at Climate Audit. I tried to email Steve to inquire why and to see if he could correct the situation. No go, none of the supposed email addy’s on his contact page worked; all were rejected by the server (either mine or his depending on possible address errors).
Steve’s last post had some interesting comments pointing out where to submit comments at both UWA and at the ombudsman.
Not in any particular order”

“Jim: Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 2:08 AM | Permalink | Reply
The uwa is a state govt organization.
The university has to follow it’s own stated policies.
If not, a formal complaint can be made to the office
Of the ombudsman for wa. This office exists to ensure
That state government public service including unis
Follow there own stated policies.
The office of the ombudsman must make a report
To parliament.
Lazlo Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Reply
An avenue for pursuing this is via the State of WA Ombudsman:
The Ombudsman’s office looks into whether a State institution (and its remit specifically includes universities) has properly followed its own procedures.
I know this because I had to handle an Ombudsman’s enquiry while I was DVC of a university in another state.
A VC cannot blithely wriggle out of it. While it does not have punitive powers, it can name individuals in Parliament – not a good look for a VC who clearly has a high opinion of himself.
Will J. Richardson Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 1:07 AM | Permalink | Reply
I wonder if the Vice Chancellor ever read this UWA Webpage:
UWA Data Management Policies and Practices

The UWA web page has little “comment (0)” options under each header. It doesn’t say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some poor webmaster or sysop has to do something with the comment.
Keep all comments civil, short and single topic! When commenting about the Vice C do not mention Lewandowsky! Comment on Lewandowsky separately!

March 30, 2014 11:16 pm

Refusing to release data to other researchers, against stated policy.
Hmm…. what could possibly go wrong with that ?.
Maybe they don’t consider Macintyre qualifies as ‘other researchers’. In which the problem could easily be solved by getting someone who is considered ‘another researcher’ to get it. By law the case would be watertight.

March 31, 2014 12:04 am

Cry for me. I have a UWA degree.

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